Nov. 24, 2012
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In the midst of the holiday season, the University of Iowa volleyball team will honor senior Allison Straumann tonight when it hosts Illinois in its season finale. The Hawkeyes are thankful for all Straumann has done for the program, and she is quick to echo the same sentiments.
"My time at Iowa has been amazing," said Straumann, a native of Cary, Ill. "It has been full of great moments and tough moments. However, each moment was an opportunity to grow as a volleyball player, but more importantly, as a person. I have learned so much and have grown every year. I'm so thankful and proud to be able to call myself a Hawkeye."
Straumann, a team captain, has played in 70 career matches, registering 259 career digs. Her senior season was highlighted by back-to-back, career-high, 16-dig performances against Minnesota and Wisconsin. She ranked in the top 10 in the Big Ten in service aces for most of the conference season.
On a roster of 17, the lone Hawkeye senior has been a guiding presence for her teammates.
"Alli brings a great and competitive attitude on the court, along with her fun personality that is shown on and off the court," said junior Rachael Bedell. "She exudes confidence and passes that along to every person she comes across. She is always there for you."
"When I was a junior in high school, I took my unofficial visit at Iowa, and Alli was my host," said sophomore Alex Lovell. "She made me feel so comfortable and relaxed with the other girls on the team and the college atmosphere. Alli definitely helped to confirm my decision to come here."
"As a freshman, transitioning into college volleyball isn't always easy," said freshman Erin Radke. "Thankfully, I have been so lucky to have Alli as my teammate. She's so kind and caring and wants the best for everybody. She's a great teammate and friend and has a very bright future ahead of her."
"My teammates mean the world to me," said Straumann. "They help me get through each day with a smile, and I don't think they know how much that means to me. Everything I do is to make them better, when they actually are having the same effect on me. It will be hard for me to not be a part of such a special team, but I will never forget all our great memories."
Straumann is also thankful for the coaches that have mentored her during her time in Iowa City.
"I cannot say enough about our coaching staff," she said. "I have learned so much about volleyball, but they have also taught me about life, and about myself. I thank them for pushing me, and helping me realize things about myself. I cannot thank them enough for all of the work and dedication they put in. I'm thankful they believed in me and gave me this amazing opportunity."
Straumann will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in communications and minors in mass communications and sports studies. She wanted to leave Hawkeye fans with a final thought.
"Once a Hawkeye, always a Hawkeye."
The senior summed up her time at Iowa with one word.
The Hawkeyes and Fighting Illini, the 2011 national runner-up, will meet at 7 p.m. tonight on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.